Monday, 27 April 2015

Paris (Part 3) - Sacre Coeur & Moulin Rouge

Paris happened a month ago, but I am still going through my photos and, slowly but surely, getting them edited for the blog. This is part 3 of 4, so I'm nearly all done! Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 :)

On day 5 of our holiday, we headed North to the area of Montmartre. We passed some pretty strange shop windows on our way to the Sacre Coeur...

The streets leading to the church get steeper and steeper, until you are finally met with the steps that take you to the top. There is a monorail which takes you up in no time at all, but we're not ones to take the easy way out, so up we climbed!

The stairs don't look like that much hard work, until you get halfway up! It's all worth it in the end when you are met by this glorious sacred building. We did take a wander inside the Sacre Coeur, but unfortunately no photos are allowed, so you'll just have to visit it for yourselves. The view from here was pretty spectacular too. It's a shame the Eiffel Tower is mostly hidden by trees.

More on my outfit a bit further down :)

All those steps had made us hungry, so it was back down we went, passing by the Moulin Rouge, surrounded by an array of tourist stores (and sex shops), whilst we looked for somewhere to lunch.

I really do love the Moulin Rouge, I only wish we had the time (and money) to go inside for a show. I'm definitely going to save up for my next trip. The foyer is decorated with lively photos from the evening shows, and paintings by one of my favourites, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. He captured the vibrant lifestyle so perfectly.

For lunch, my Nan and Aunty Jean both went for ham and cheese toasties, topped with a fried egg. This dish is quite popular in France, we spotted it on most menus. In French it is called Croque-Madame. There is also a version without the fried egg on top called Croque-Monsieur. Absolutely delicious! Of course I had to go for yet another créme brúlée. I've lost count which number this one was.

Across the road there was a restaurant decked out like the 1920's  which very nearly shared my name. My name is French, so it's probably not that surprising...

Dress - Joy // Cardigan - SwapAholicsUK Clothing Swap // Shoes - Matalan // Bag - New Look // Necklace - Tiffany & Co.

A few months ago, I attended a special shopping evening at Joy in conjunction with Stylist magazine. You may remember I picked up this beautiful Louche Elisha Dress. I bought it to wear to my best friends wedding in Cyprus, but I thought I'd give it a trial run in Paris first. As the weather was still a bit chilly, I paired it with some dark navy wool tights and a white cardigan that I got from a clothing swap. I do love this cardigan, but it does leave fluff on everything! My outfit was completed with these white brogues from Matalan.

Make sure you give me a follow on Bloglovin so you can see how I style this dress for the wedding in Cyprus in 3 weeks time!

We took a nice long walk back towards our apartment, passing by the Cirque d'Hiver, arriving in our neighbourhood just in time for dinner. After a little wander around the corner, we stumbled across a small but stylish restaurant, La Vache Acrobate. The decor was very hip, with drawings and sculptures by new artists hanging on the walls, and hundreds of corks lying in the window beds. This place had a lovely relaxed atmosphere, which suited us perfectly after a long day of walking, and all those stairs!

We ended our evening back at the apartment, carrying on with our puzzle over another bottle of wine.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

#LandGGamesNight Outfit of the Day (OOTD)

Last week, I managed to blag myself, quite last minute, an invite to Joe's Bloggers event in partnership with Legal & General. It was a night of my 3 favourite P's - prosecco, pizza and poard games...? Rumour had it, our board game of the night would be Monopoly. After work I quickly ran home to pick up my top hat, before I headed towards Kings Cross. The night's event took place inside the Joe's Bloggers own offices, and my, these might just be the coolest offices ever!

After almost walking in to the wrong place, I spotted Charlie (who I had met at a Christmas Bloggers gathering late last year) and some other bloggers, so quickly followed them to the correct location. Upon our arrival we were each handed a glass of prosecco by the lovely Gemma, who is sadly leaving the Joe's Bloggers team *sad face*. After some mingling, and more prosecco, we were introduced to James who told us the lowdown for the evening.

There were 6 tables each with a Monopoly board all set up for us. I'd already bumped into Leanne, whom I had met at the last Joe's Bloggers event I attended, and we had decided to take the table with the retro version of this popular board game. We were joined by 4 fellow bloggers - Sorcha (of Bright Field Notes), Milly (of Mini Adventures), Emma (from Emma Inks), and Olivia (from Beauty from the Fjord) who I had also met previously last year. With our table now full, it was time to let the games begin!

The aim was to be the wealthiest blogger by the end of play at 9pm. This included all money, properties, houses and hotels. We all started off just having a general chit-chat whilst taking our turns rolling the dice and moving around the board. Halfway through, the pizza arrived. Bring on the blogger stampede!

We bloggers do love our pizza, even more so after a couple of bottles of prosecco... Once we had filled our tummies with delicious cheesey goodies, it was back to Monopoly. This was when the game really started to hot-up, with members starting to plant houses and hotels on their properties, and there was even some bargaining happening as we entered the last 30 minutes of play.

 9pm came around much too quickly, and it was time to start calculating our totals. It was clear we had a mighty winner on our table, but would she be the winner of the room...?

She would!! Having all counted up our worth, it was revealed that Leanne had come out top and was awarded first pick of the prizes - Hooray!

There was just enough time at the end for some quick outfit shots - thanks to Olivia for taking these :)

Jumper - UniQlo // Vest - Tesco // Chinos - SwapaholicsUK Clothing Swap (originally from Topman) // Shoes - Present from the parents (originally from New Look) // Scrabble necklace - Asda

My stripey jumper (yes, another one!) is from UniQlo. You may remember seeing the dress version a few weeks ago too. This jumper is a little bit shorter than I usually like, so I layered it over a jade vest top, with lace edging which I got from Tesco a couple of years ago. My navy chinos are actually from Topman but I picked them up from a clothing swap. Turns out they belonged to my old housemate! My Mum bought me the anchor print shoes for my birthday a few years back. I thought I'd stick with the board game theme and wear my Scrabble necklace which I got from Asda. Let's not forget the top hat! I was given this whilst on a night out, all because I apparently looked like Lily Allen...

I had such a fun evening and want to thank Joe's Bloggers for letting me gatecrash last minute, and to Legal & General for sponsoring the event. A massive thanks also to all the girls who I shared a table with. Next time, Operation!!

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Paris (Part 2) - Marché Bastille & The Eiffel Tower

Hello, and welcome to part 2 of my trip to Paris! You can catch part 1 here featuring a visit to the Notre Dame.

Our 3rd day was quite relaxing, mostly spent shopping. We headed to Opéra to take a wander around one of the most beautiful shopping destinations I've ever seen - Galeries Lafayette. It has a truly breathtaking stain glass ceiling, you may remember seeing it during my last trip to Paris with Chloe. This time we ventured up, rummaging through the many brands on offer and eventually taking in quite a view from the rooftop.

After a spot of lunch inside the retail complex, we took to the streets to carry on our shopping spree. I got quite the haul from a nearby UniQlo, including this stripey dress! We also came across a whole shop dedicated to delicious Lindor chocolates. Too bad I was still on lent so couldn't enjoy the free samples *sad face*. Once we were all shopped out, we walked back to our apartment, enjoying more of the Parisian architecture. I spotted this totally rocking hairdressers which was right on our road. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance this trip to go in to Rock Hair for a cut and style, but it's definitely on my list for next time! We finished our night back at the apartment, where we had found a big puzzle. So with a bottle of wine and plenty of cheese, we set to work...

The next morning, we woke nice and early - okay, not that early, but earlier than the last 2 mornings! We'd heard there was a big market in Bastille which happens twice a week. So off we went! It was mainly a food market, with a few stalls selling crafts and little souvenir trinkets.

This usually quiet side street was suddenly abuzz with people and colourful fruit and flowers. Even in the grey skies and light drizzle, there was quite the turnout!

Having filled our pockets with Paris keepsakes (and my tummy with fresh croissants!), we hopped on the metro and headed towards the Iron Lady.

The Eiffel Tower is such a glorious sight, always making me feel all warm and romantic inside. I had visited the Tower before, but had never actually travelled the elevator (or the stairs) up, so this was a first for all 3 of us. It's so strange to see all of Paris, with it's old, classic buildings being towered by the shiny, new skyscrapers in the North-West.

It was extremely windy up there, they even had to shut the top viewing platform. We decided to take shelter and grab a bite to eat inside the restaurant.

Le 58 Tour Eiffel is a very snazzy place indeed with their waistcoated waiters and dimmed lights. I only ordered a starter and was warned it was very small, like a mini picnic. They weren't lying! My cream of pumpkin soup came with a little tub of garlic croutons. At the bottom of the soup was some ricotta filled ravioli. It was all absolutely scrumptious, probably my favourite meal of the trip. I washed it all down with a champagne cocktail, which pays homage to the French flag.

Enough of being windswept, it was back down to ground level.

We took a rather wet walk around the perimeter of the Army museum. With the Eiffel Tower still visible in the distant drizzle, it made it all still quite beautiful and romantic (especially when you put it in greyscale). We didn't go inside as we were very dishevelled from the wind and rain, so instead went back to the apartment to freshen up before dinner.

I still had a quick minute for an outfit shot!

Jumper - ASOS // Super Stretchy Trousers - UniQlo // New Balance Trainers - ASOS // Coat - Joy // Camera Bag - New Look

Thought I'd mix and match some stripes and checks. This is one of my many stripey jumpers, but is one of my favourites, mainly for the anchors on the elbows - how cute and utterly me! I picked this up in an ASOS sale last year. The checked leggings are from UniQlo and are oh-so comfy. They're slightly higher waisted than most of my other trousers, which I prefer. I've tied in the navy and red with my New Balance trainers. These were perfect for all the walking we did. My stripey camera bag is from New Look, and let's not forget my trusty duffel coat from Joy (available in green here!).

After putting out feet up for a bit, and continuing with our puzzle, we were off out again for dinner.

We decided to head in the opposite direction to usual, towards Republiqué. Whilst on our short walk, I spotted that shop with the coolest name ever, inspired by a certain Doors song. After perusing a few restaurant menus, we all agreed on Café Republiqué. The food was divine here, not to mention the wine! I ordered a type of macaroni cheese with cepe mushrooms, chunks of chicken and a slither of foie gras on top. There was so much that I only managed about half of my dish. Of course I still had room for another créme brulée!

Be sure to give me a follow on Bloglovin so you'll be the first to know when part 3 from Paris goes live (you didn't think this was it from Paris, did you?!)

Also, make sure to check out my eBay, as I've added a few bits this weekend, and should be adding more this week

Thanks for reading :)

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Captain Charley: April 2015

Captain Charley